Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The Switch

The Government of Victoria is now allowing people to register for a free Myki public transport card over the web and save themselves the cost of buying this smart-card for $10. Not a fan of the entire Myki concept, I still went ahead and registered myself simply for the fact they keep on saying that within six months there will be no other option.
At this point you'll have to excuse me for being so naive. Upon the conclusion of the web based registration, I received a confirmation email from Myki starting with "Thank you for making the switch to myki - Victoria's new public transport ticketing system." Excuse me? What switch are you talking about? All I did was register! I am still a proud owner of a yearly Metcard ticket which I intend to use until it expires (and then continue using as a bookmark).
I thought I wouldn't let those charlatans in government count me on their lists of Myki converted, so I went ahead and wrote them this nice letter:

Yesterday I registered over the web to get a free Myki. At the end of the registration I received an email thanking me for making the switch to Myki. I want to make it clear that I am not making a switch to Myki, nor do I want to make such a switch. I would use my Metcard for as long as I possibly can; I think the Myki concept is incredibly flawed and I would only consider using it as a last resort. I only registered for a Myki card in order to get one for free, not because I want to switch over to Myki in any way. I protest against you making the Myki switch assumption on my behalf. I think that taking the act of registration and inflating it to a switch is a gross exaggeration of the action I have performed on your website. I consider it is very pretentious of you and I see it as yet another symptom for how flawed Myki is and how desperate the Myki spin machine is.

I do not expect a reply.

10 comments:

Moshe said...

Long time ago I came across a Telstra document discussing the term "Quality" and what it means to different cultures.
It referred mainly the quality of software products, but I did find it a window of understanding to the Australian way of life.
To Japanese, for example, it means "zero bugs from version 1". To American quality means "It Works".
In Australia quality is perceived as "Quality of relationships first".
That may explain why Myki is such a success in Hong-Kong, for example, as I would assume their philosophy is closer to the Japanese.
I am not familiar with the implementation of Myki here but I could assume that quite a few parties were involved from its initiation to implementation, so Myki is probably the sum of many moving parts that not always are in sync with each other. Time will tell if it will be corrected or dumped altogether.
Unfortunately, being blunt and direct does not work in Australia, and it doesn't matter if you right or wrong, you are always "rude".

Moshe Reuveni said...

I don't have a problem with others considering me rude when I am of the opinion I am right. There is no morality in truth, and if others have a problem with it then they really have a problem.

As for Myki, it is well documented to be a series of piled up failures involving several companies and sightless politicians. The Age had a few articles on Myki's development history.

Moshe said...

I should have worded it differently so the "you" would be "one", as it seems to me you are taking it too personally.

Moshe Reuveni said...

Not at all. I gave you a serious answer, but I actually agree with you: I do have a problem with this Aussie mentality and I do offend people quite often when I hardly ever mean to attack the person.

Moshe said...

I don't like debating over a Comments section in a blog and prefer a direct communication, but I cannot resist replying in this case:
As an ex-Israeli, roughly same generation as you are, from a Sepheradi background, etc, etc, I understand where you are coming from. However, my point in the original reply was to say that (and as I learnt myself the hard way) acting like an Israeli in Australia is like being an elephant in a china shop. My issue is when going back to Israel and acting like an Aussie, everybody thinks you are a laflaf (couldn't translate that word, sorry...)

Moshe Reuveni said...

The same, and exactly the same, applies here. One way for me to address this issue is to limit my visits to Israel...
But back to Australia: I cause a lot of tremors with my behavior, but I also achieve things. There have been many a case where my loud mouth did make a difference, regardless of whether it shattered a few hearts in the process.
You can call it an Israeli attribute, but I think of it as applying the scientific philosophy: when I have a theory I publish it openly, widely and aggressively; and when I'm proven wrong, as I often am, I humbly change my ways.

Moshe said...

This is funny, we Israelis always have to have the last word (myself, included, obviously)...
Pickard out

Moshe Reuveni said...

Being that I am the product of Israeli culture I’ll have yet another word, which I intend to use to further explain my stand.

Let’s start by having a look at the facts involving my Myki incident:
1. I am the owner of a yearly Metcard valid till October 2010. There is absolutely no incentive for me to switch to Myki unless I actually get paid for the switch. No such payments have been announced.
2. I have registered for a free Myki over the web. I did it simply because during the next week or so I will be able to get a free Myki (afterwards they would cost $10) and because the news reports that in six months I will not be able to use Metcards anymore. There is a bit of a problem there because many yearly and monthly Metcards tickets will still be valid at that cut-off point, but I am assuming some workaround will be found; after all, one can still buy a new yearly Metcard today.
3. After registering for the Myki I received an email thanking me for switching to Myki. Given (1), that is simply not true; it is a lie.

The question now is, what do I do about this lie? Do I stand for the truth or do I let it pass?
Ethically speaking, I should stand for the truth. As much as it is fashionable to declare truth as relative, that is not really the case and we all value truth above the untrue. For example, none of us would like to fly on a plane that might be safe; we want to know it’s safe, at least to the best of what can feasibly be achieved. Well, I want to stick for the truth, at least to the best of what I can achieve: and what I can achieve depends mostly on my limited time upon this earth and the limited resources at my possession. In the particular case of the Myki, the cost of me standing up to the truth was pretty minimal so I went ahead and did it.

Now, what am I trying to say here? Here goes-
I don’t think I was being a typical Israeli here. My interpretation of being a typical Israeli is doing everything to avoid being perceived a “Frayer” (sucker), regardless of the objective truth; perception is the key word here. In this particular Myki case, that doesn’t really apply as there are no suckers, no losers and no winners. There are also no perceptions: no one would ever know I have received this email from Myki if I was to stay quiet about it.
What I do think is that I was being a typical Moshe Reuveni, an annoying guy who likes to make his point and stick up to his values when it is not too inconvenient for him to do so. This Moshe Reuveni does his annoying acts while utilizing the Chutzpah acquired through his Israeli upbringing to do stuff that the average Aussie would stay silent about.
What I’m trying to say is that there is more to me than being an Israeli. Sure, I have some Israeli attributes, and sure, I am distinctively different to the average Aussie. But what I am has more to do with what I have made myself to be on top of my typical Israeli upbringing.

Engage!

Moshe said...

My last reply was a tongue-in-cheek comment. It seems to me that you are so worried protecting the image you are trying to project, that you forget to laugh sometimes...

Live long and prosper!

Moshe Reuveni said...

You are right and you are wrong:
You are right because I am worried about protecting my image (or rather, being misunderstood and/or having my words used out of context).
You are wrong because I do laugh and I do enjoy it all, otherwise I wouldn't do it in the first place. I really enjoy dealing with constructive feedback and I took great pleasure in writing my previous comment.
And I really enjoy boldly (and by now baldly, too) going where I haven't gone before.